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Afghan President Hamid Karzai

Series/Special. President Karzai visits Washington, DC to meet with President Obama and talk about U.S.-Afghanistan relations. New.

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704

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480

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U.s. 21, Us 19, California 18, United States 15, Sonoma 10, Karzi 10, Thompson 9, Pakistan 8, Biden 6, Jerry 6, Gary Lucas 5, Mike Thompson 5, America 5, Karzai 4, Vietnam 4, Switzerland 4, Petaluma 3, United 3, Germany 3, Connecticut 3,
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  CSPAN    Afghan President Hamid Karzai    Series/Special. President Karzai visits Washington, DC to  
   meet with President Obama and talk about U.S.-Afghanistan...  

    January 13, 2013
    10:30 - 12:30pm EST  

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they've always -- regular order going through the ways and means committee passing out something, getting it to the floor, amending it. that's regular order. we haven't seen that in a long time. what it's taken to get anything done is these deadlines, these new year's eve votes at midnight. and it's like these guys can't get anything done unless they absolutely have to. >> well, we'll see as the month progresses and congress comes back into session. thanks for your questions. we appreciate it. >> thank you. >> and the streeths around the capitol this morning blocked off as preparations are being made here at the capitol for the second inauguration. the public ceremonies are going to be held here on the west side of the capitol where the band has been rehearsing, chairs are being set up and flags put out on the stage.
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♪ >> and the public ceremonies will be held here on the west side of the capitol. and that swearing in will be held in about a week officially it will be held on the 20th but that falls on a sunday this year so the public ceremonies and parade will be held on monday 21st. of course president obama and vice president biden swearing in for their second terms will be the 57th inauguration and you can watch the public ceremonies including the swearing in at noon eastern here on c-span. we'll also show you the luncheon in the u.s. capitol and the afternoon parade that's going to be up pennsylvania avenue and throughout the day on monday 21st we'll be take yourg phone calls. you can comment on our facebook
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page and twitter. all of that starting january 21, 7:00 a.m. eastern. you can listen on c-span radio or watch a live stream on c-span.org. and vice president biden is expected to make recommendations to the president this week on how to deal with gun issues in the u.s. california democratic representative mike thompson held three public forums this past week to hear from constituents on both sides of the gun debate. in about an hour you'll be able to watch from california starting at 11:30 eastern time.
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>> afghan president halmed karzai visited the president this week and president obama held a conference with him talked about the progress in the war in afghanistan ahead of the u.s. withdrawal planned for 2014. their press conference lasted about 40 minutes.
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so mr. president welcome. we meet at a critical moment. the 33,000 additional forces that i ordered to afghanistan have served with honor, they've completed their mission and as promised returned home this past fall. the transition is well under way and soon nearly 90% of afghans will live in areas where afghanistan forces are be in the lead for their own security. this year will mark another milestone. afghan forces will take the lead for security across the entire country and by the end of next year, 2014, the transition will be complete. afghans will have full responsibility for their security and this war will come to a responsible end. this progress is only possible because of the incredible sacrifices of our troops and
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our diplomats, the forces of our many coalition partners, and the afghan people who have endured extraordinary hardship. in this war more than 2,000 of american's sons and daughters have given their lives. these are patriots that we honor today, tomorrow, and forever. and as we announced today, the next month i will present our nation's highest military decoration, the medal of honor to staff sergeant clinton romashade for his her oirk service in afghanistan. today because of the courage of our citizens, president karzi and i have been able to review our shared strategy. with the devastating blows we've struck against al qaeda our core objective the reason we went to war in the first place is now within reach. ensuring that al qaeda can never again use afghanistan to launch attacks against our country.
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at the same time, we pushed the taliban out of their strongholds. today most major cities and most afghans are more secure and insurgets have continued to lose territory. meanwhile, afghan forces continue to grow stronger. as planned, some 352,000 afghan soldiers and police are now in training or on duty. most missions are already being led by afghan forces. and of all the men and women in uniform in afghanistan, the vast majority are afghans who are fighting and dying for their country every day. we still face significant challenges. but because this progress our transition is on track. at the nato summit last year we agreed with our coalition forces afghan forceless take
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over in 2013. we will continue to consult and today we agreed that as afghan forces take the lead and as president karzi announces the final phase of the transition, coalition forceless move to a support role this spring. our troops will continue to fight alongside afghans when needed but let me say it as plainl as i can. starting this spring our troops will have a different mission. training, advising, assisting, afghan forces. it will be an historic moment and another step toward full afghan sovereignty, something i know that president karzi cares deeply about as do the afghan people. this sets the stage for theer reduction of coalition forces. we've reduced to 66,000 u.s. troops. i pledge we'll continue to bring our forces home at a steady pace and at the coming
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months ileool noun a responsible drawdown to protect the gains our troops have made. we also discussed the security after 2014. our teams continue to work toward a security agreement and as they do they will be guided by our respect for afghan sovereignty and two long-term taskses which will be very specific and very narrow. first, training and assisting afghan forces, and second, targeting counter terrorism missions -- targeted counter terrorism missions against al qaeda and its affiliates. our discussion will focus on how best to achieve these two tasks after 2014 and it's our hope that we can reach an agreement this year. ultimately, security gains must be matched by political progress so we recommitted our nations to a reconciliation progress between the afghan government and the taliban. president karzi updated me on
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the afghan government's roadmap to peace and today we agreed that this process should be advanced by the opening of a taliban office to facilitate talks. reconciliation also requires constructive support from across the region including pakistan. we welcome recent steps that have been taken in that regard and will look for more tangible steps because a stable and secure afghanistan is in the interest not only of the afghan people and the united states but of the entire region. and finally we reaffirmed the strategic partnership we signed last year in kabul, an enduring partnership between two sovereign nations. this includes deepening ties with trade, commerce, strengthening institutions, development, education, and opportunities for all afghans. men and women, boys and girls. and this sends a clear message to afghans and to the region as afghans stand up they will not stand alone. the united states and the world stands with them.
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now, let me close by saying that this continues to be a very difficult mission. our forces continue to serve and make tremendous sacrifices every day. the afghan people make significant sacrifices every day. afghan forces still need to grow stronger. we remain vigilant against insider attacks. lasting peace and security will require governance and development that delivers for the afghan people and an end to safe havengs for al qaeda and its ilk. all this will continue to be our work. but make no mistake. our path is clear and we are moving forward. every day more afghans are stepping up and taking responsibility for their own security. and as they do, our troops will come home. and next year this long war will come to a responsible end. president karzi, i thank you and your delegation for the progress we've made together and for your commitment to the goals that we share. a strong and sovereign
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afghanistan where afghans find security, peace, prosperity, and dignity. and in pursuit of that future afghanistan will have a long-term partner in the united states of america. mr. president. >> thank you very much mr. president for your warm welcome to me and to the afghan delegation to this visit to washington and for bearing with us all the crowds we have there. the president and i discussed today in great detail all the relevant issues between the two countries. i was happy to see that we have made progress on some of the important issues for
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afghanistan. concerning afghan sovereignty we agreed on the complete return of detention centers and detainees to afghan sovereignty. and that this will be implemented soon after my return to afghanistan. we also discussed all aspects of transition to afghan governance and security. i am very happy to hear from the president as we also discussed earlier that in the spring this year the afghan forces will be fully responsible for providing security and protection to the afghan people. and that the international forces, the american forces will be no longer in villages
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that the task will be that of the afghan forces to provide for the afghan people in security and protection. that we also agreed on the steps that we should be taking to in the peace process, which is of highest priority to afghanistan. we agreed on allowing the tall ban office in ca far -- qatar where the taliban will engage in direct talks with the representatives of the afghan high council for peace. where we will be seeking the help of the relevant regional countries including pakistan. where we will be trying our best together with the united states and our other allies to return peace and stability to afghanistan as soon as
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possible. and employing all the means that we have within our power to do that. so the afghan people can live in security and peace and work for their prosperity and educate their children. the president and i also discussed the economic transition in afghanistan and all the that entails in afghanistan. once the transyig is completed, once the bulk of the international forces have withdrawn from afghanistan we hope that the dividends of that transition, economically to afghanistan, will be beneficial to the afghan people and will not have adverse effects on afghan economy and the prosperities that we have gained. in the past many years. we also discussed the issue of election in afghanistan and the importance of elections for the afghan people with the hope that we'll be conducting a free
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and fair election in afghanistan where our friends in the international community and particularly the united states will be assisting in conducting those elections. of course. where afghanistan will have the right environment for conducting elections without interference and without undue concerns in that regard for the afghan people. we also discussed in a bit of detail and in the environment that we have all aspects of the bilateral security agreement between afghanistan and the united states, and i informed the president that the afghan people already in the -- called for the strategic partnership agreement between us and the
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united states have given their approval to this relationship and they value it as one that is good for afghanistan. so in that context the bilateral security agreement is one that the afghan people approve and i'm sure we will conduct it in detail where both the interests of the united states and the interests of afghanistan will be kept in mind. we had a number of other issues also to talk about. during our conversations and perhaps many times in that conversation beginning with the conversation of course i thanked the president for the help that the united states has given to the afghan people for all that we have gained in the past 10 years and that those gains will be kept by any standard while we are working for peace and stability in afghanistan including respect for afghan constitution. i also thanked the president
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and endorsed with him the sacrifices of american men and women in uniform and those of other countries accordingly i also informed president obama of the sacrifices of the afghan people of immense sacrifices of the afghan people in the past 10 years both of who are the servicemen and of the afghan people, i'll be going back to afghanistan this evening to bring to the afghan people the news of afghanistan standing shoulder to shoulder with america as a sovereign independent country but in cooperation and in partnership. thank you mr. president for your hospitality. >> thank you mr. president.
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>> we've got two questions each i think from the u.s. and afghan press. we'll start with scott wilson of the "washington post." >> mr. president, does moving up the deadline for the transition to an afghan security role lead mean that you'll be winding down u.s. troops faster than you expected this year? and as specifically as possible, how many troops do you expect to leave in afghanistan beyond 2014 for the two mission youse outlined and would you consider leaving any troops in afghanistan beyond that date without an immunity agreement for their actions? and president karzi, you've spoken often about the threat the american president in afghanistan poses to your nation's sovereignty but will you be considering working on an immunity agreement to preserve some forces in afghanistan after the 2014 date and how many u.s. troops you would accept after that time?
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thank you. >> scott, our first task has been to meet the transition plan that we've set first in lisbon then in chicago. and because of the progress that's been made by our troops because the progress that's been made in terms of afghan security forces their capacity to take the lead, we are able to meet those goals and accelerate them somewhat. so let me repeat. what's going to happen this spring is that afghans will be in the lead throughout the country. that doesn't mean that coalition forces including u.s. forces are no longer fighting. they will still be fighting alongside afghan troops. it does mean though that afghans will have taken the lead and our presence the nature of our work will be
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different. we will be in a training assisting advising role. obviously, we will still have troops there and that means that our men and women will still be in harm's way. that there will still be the need for force protection. the environment is going to still be very dangerous. but what we've seen is that afghan soldiers are stepping up at great risk to themselves. and that allows us then to make this transition during the spring. what that translates into precisely in terms of how this drawdown of u.s. troops proceeds is something that isn't yet fully determined. i'm going to be over the coming weeks getting recommendations from general allen and other commanders on the ground. they will be designing and shaping a responsible plan to
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make sure that we're not losing the gains that have already been made, to make sure that we're in a position to support afghan units when they're in theater. and to make sure that our folks are also protected even as we're drawing down. so i can't give you a precise number at this point. i'll probably make a separate announcement once i've gotten recommendations from the generals and our commanders in terms of what that drawdown might look like. with respect to post 2014, we've got two goals. and our main conversation today was stab lirking a meetings -- establishing a meetings of the minds in terms of what those goals will be with a follow-on presence of u.s. troops. number one, to train assist and advise afghan forces so they can maintain their own security. and number two, making sure that we can continue to go
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after remnants of al qaeda or other affiliates that might threaten our homeland. that is a very limited mission. and it is not one that would require the same kind of footprint, obviously, that we've had over the last 10 years in afghanistan. similar to the issue of drawdown, i'm still getting recommendations from the pentagon and our commanders on the ground in terms of what that would look like. and when we have more information about that, i will be describing that to the american people. i think president karzi's primary concern and obviously you'll hear directly from him, is make shurg that afghan sovereignty is respected and if we have a follow-on force of any sort past 2014 it's got to be at the invitation of the afghan government and they have
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to feel comfortable with it. i will say as i've said to president karzi that we have arrangements like this with countries all around the world and nowhere do we have any kind of security agreement with a country without immunity for our troops. that's how i as commander in chief can make sure that our folks are protected in carrying out very difficult missions. and so i think president karzi understands that. i don't want to get ahead of ourselves in terms of the negotiation thars still remaining on the bilateral security agreement but i think it's fair to say that from my perspective at least it will not be possible for us to have any kind of u.s. troop presence post 2014 without assurances that our men and women who are operating there are in some way
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subject to the jurisdiction of another country. >> well, sir, the bilateral security agreement is in mind for the interests of both countries. we understand that the issue of immunity as -- of very specific importance for the united states. as was for us the issue of sovereignty and detentions and the continued presence of international forces in afghan villages and the conduct of the war itself. with those issues resolved, as we did today, part of it, the rest was done earlier, i can go to the afghan people and argue for immunity for u.s. troops in afghanistan in a way that
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afghan sovereignty will not be compromised in a way that afghan law will not be compromised, in a way that the provisions that we arrive at through talks will give the united states the satisfactions of what it seeks and will also provide the afghan people the benefits that they are seeking through this partnership and the subsequent agreement. [inaudible] >> that's not for us to decide. it's an issue for the united states. numbers are not going to make a difference to the situation in afghanistan. it's the broader relationship that will make the difference to afghanistan and beyond in the region. the specifics of numbers are issues that the military will decide and afghanistan will have no particular concern when
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we are talking of numbers and how they are deployed. >> i prefer to ask my question to my own language. mr. president, the missions of combative missions of the united states after 2014, how this mission will be how, will it will resembling the same mission as it was during 11 years? or is there a difference, a different kind of mission? >> those wars in pakistan the safe havens that are in pakistan? what kind of policy will you
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have? thank you. >> the mission will be fundamentally different. just to repeat, our main reason should we have troops in afghanistan post 2014 at the invitation of the afghan government will be to make sure that we are training assisting and advising afghan security force whose have now taken the lead for and are responsible for security throughout afghanistan. and an interest of the united states has, the very reason we went to afghanistan in the first place and that is to make sure that al qaeda and its affiliates cannot launch an attack against the united states or other countries from afghanistan. we believe that we can achieve that mission in a way that's very different from the very
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active presence that we've had in afghanistan over the last 11 years. president karzi has emphasized the strains that u.s. troop presence in afghanistan villages, for example, have created. well, that's not going to be a strain that exists if there is a follow-up operation because that will not be our responsibility, that will be the responsibility of the afghan national security forces to maintain peace and order and stability in afghan villages, in afghan territory. so i think although obviously we're still two years away, i can say with assurance that this is a very different mission and very different task and a very different footprint for the u.s. if we are able to come to an appropriate
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agreement. and with respect to pakistan and safe havens there, afghanistan and the united states and pakistan all have an interest in reducing the threat of extremism in some of these borderthat will require more thn simply military actions. that is really going to require political and diplomatic work between afghanistan and pakistan, and the united states obviously will have an interest in facilitating and participating in cooperation between the two sovereign countries. as president karzai has indicated, it is very hard to imagine a stability and peace in the region if pakistan and afghanistan do not come to some basic agreement and understanding about the threat
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of extremism to both countries and both governments in the capitals, and you are starting to see a greater awareness of that on the part of the pakistani government. >> the question that you have made about -- we talked about this issue in detail today, about the presence, the detention centers. all of these will refer to the afghan sovereignty, where the u.s. forces will pull out from villages, will go to their bases, and afghan sovereignty will be restored, after 2014.
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we're working on these relations. these relations will have a different nature and will be working on different principles. it will resemble turkey or germany. we are studying these relationships, and we will do that. >> thank you, mr. president. as you contemplate the end of this war, can you say something as commander in chief of the huge human, financial costs that this is, if it can be justified, that the world left behind will be somewhat diminished than at the beginning of the war? president karzai, many independent studies have criticized afghanistan for corruption and poor governance.
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do you stand by your assertion that much of this is due to influence of foreigners? will you stand down for elections next year? >> i want us to remember why we went to afghanistan. we went into afghanistan because 3,000 americans were viciously murdered by a terrorist organization that was operating openly and at the invitation of those who were then ruling afghanistan. it was absolutely the right thing for us to go after that organization, to go after the host government that had aided and abetted or at least allowed
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for these attacks to take place, and because of the work of our men and women in uniform and because of the corporation and the sacrifices of afghans who had also been brutalized by the then host government, we achieved our central goal, which is -- or have come very close to achieving the central goal -- which was to decapitate al qaeda. everything we have done over the for these attacks to take last e perspective of the u.s. national security interests, have been focused on that goal. and at the end of this conflict, we are going to be able to say that the sacrifices that were made by those men and women in uniform has brought about the goal that we sought.
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now, when we also recognize the very early on was that it was in our national security interest to have a stable, sovereign afghanistan that was a responsible international actor, that was in partnership with us, and that that required afghanistan to have its own security capacity and to be on a path that was more likely to achieve prosperity and peace for its own people. and i think president karzai would be the first to acknowledge afghanistan still has work to do to accomplish those goals, but there is no doubt that the possibility of peace and prosperity in afghanistan today is higher than before we went in. and that is also in part because of the sacrifices that the american people have made
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during this long conflict. do i think have we achieved everything that some might have wanted us achieving in some areas? probably not. this is a human enterprise. did we achieve our central goal, and have we been able to shape a strong relationship with a responsible afghan government that is willing to cooperate with us to make sure that it is not a launching pad for future attacks against united states? we have achieved that goal, we are in the process of achieving that goal, and for that we have to take our turn very military,
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diplomatic and intelligence teams as well as the cooperation of the afghan government and the afghan people. >> on the question of corruption, whether it has a foreign element to it, in answer to your question, there is corruption in afghanistan, there is corruption in the afghan government that we are fighting against through various means and methods. we have succeeded in certain ways, but if your question is whether we are satisfied, of course not. and on the corruption that is foreign in the origin, but occurring in afghanistan, i have been very clear and explicit, and i do not think
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that afghanistan can see this corruption unless there is cooperation between us and foreign international partners on correcting some of the methods or applications, delivery of assistance to afghanistan, without cooperation, and without recognition of the problems. on elections, for me, the greatest of my achievements eventually as seen by the afghan people will be a proper, reorganized, interference-free election in which the afghan people can elect their next president. certainly, i would be a very
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tired president and a very happily retired president. >> my questions to you, mr. president, afghan women fear that they would be the victim of the process in afghanistan. what assurances can you give them that they will not suffer because of that process? thank you. >> the united states has been very clear that any peace process, any reconciliation process must be afghan led. it is not for the afghan press or the united states to determine what this peace will be, but what we have also been clear about is that from our perspective it is not possible to reconcile without the taliban renouncing terrorism,
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without them recognizing the afghan constitution, and recognizing that if there are changes they want to make to how the afghan government operates, then there is an orderly constitutional process to do that, and that you cannot resort to violence. the afghan constitution protects the rights of afghan women. and the united states strongly believes that afghanistan cannot succeed unless it gives opportunity to its women. we believe that about every country in the world. we will continue to voice very strongly support for the afghan
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constitution's protection for minorities, its protection of women, and we think that a failure to provide that protection not only will make reconciliation impossible to achieve, but also would make afghanistan's longterm development impossible to achieve. the single best indicator or one of the single best indicators of a country's prosperity around the world is how does it treat its women. does it educate that half of the population? does it give them opportunity? when it does, you will unleash the power of everyone, not just some, and there was great wisdom in afghanistan ratifying a constitution that recognizes
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that appeared that should be part of the legacy of these last 10 years. thank you very much, everybody. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> president karzai rapid visit to the u.s. on friday. now the capital, rehearsals for the swearing in of president obama and vice-president biden next week. the military conducting mock swearing-in. you can see members of the military standing in for the principles who will be the president, vice-president, and their families, in this practice run, for what will be in of the7 inauguration.
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♪ >> the military, and and getting ready for next week's on direct -- inauguration. can watch live coverage on monday, january 21. live coverage beginning at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span and across the seas and that works. >> he came as close as anyone to
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gaining admittance to what robert sure would called roosevelt's heavily forested interior. unlike mrs. roosevelt, he knew when to be still in the presence of the president's, went to press him, when to back off and tell a joke. after he won the election, the man he beat was in his office. they remained friends. he said to the president, why do you keep that and so close to you, that man being hopkins. he did not like hopkins. roosevelt said, well, you may be in this office some day and you will understand, but he asks for nothing except to serve me. >> trusted adviser, friend and confidant to fdr. harry hopkins lived in the white house for three years.
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david roll on "the hopkins touch." >> california democratic representative mike thompson held republic formed this week to hear from constituents on both sides of the candidate. in about 15 minutes, you can watch the form from santa rosa, california. vice-president biden also held a series of talks. he is expected to make recommendations to the president this week on how to deal with gun issues in the u.s. he made remarks after wrapping up three separate talks with gun rights groups, gun violence victims, and the new game makers at the white house. here is what he had to say. >> let me begin by thanking you all for being here. i know you came a long way and you have an awful lot on your plate. secondly, i want you to know
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what we have been doing. and maybe we can have a longer and larger conversation. as a consequence of what i think we would all agree, this consequence for the american people unlike anything i have seen or felt, we have been around a long time, there have been a number of tragedies that have occurred, national catastrophes. but i have never seen any thing that has shocked the country or the american people like six and seven year-old kids being riddled with bullets in a classroom neighborhood in an area that was considered to be immune to this kind of behavior and done everything that seemed
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able to be done to protect children in that school. and so, how the president asked me, because i spent some much time on these issues, relating particularly to fire arms, whether or not we would. and admittedly, it is quick end of the matter of less than a month, put together a set of proposals or directions that we could move the federal government and enhance the possibility, lessen the possibility that this will happen again. we know that is -- there is no silver bullet. there is no seat belt you can put on to ensure that we will not be in this circumstance again, but i ask the cabinet to
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come together, the attorney general, the board of education, health and human services. we know this is a complex problem and there is no single answer. and frankly, we don't even know if some of the things people think back then is what is going on. i want you to know that you have not been singled out for help. but we have asked a lot of people. i want to give you a sense of the meetings we have had so far. we met with the law enforcement community that has one perspective. there is a wide range, we don't always agree. anything from weapons to preventative action that can be taken. we met with the medical
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community, the american academy of family physicians. at the american academy of neurologists, more than a dozen. we met with at-risk groups, child advocacy communities from boys and girls clubs, the ymca, the after-school alliance. the domestic violence prevention community, they have various views with legal and justice organizations. the after-school alliance. civil rights organizations, participation in national service organizations from one club to the rotary club.
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youth groups, campus groups, peace groups. gun safety advocates from the brady group to the major gun safety organizations. the educators that are groping for answers, the mental health community including the american academy that we have been through, it is not an extensive study. but the literature that the staff has been working. much of what we already had, trying to devour. the most interesting meeting is with an interfaith group. not only the traditional mainstream protestant churches,
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the catholic council of bishops, but evangelicals. they are reluctant to engage in is because it is may be an attack on a cultural thing related to gun ownership and the like. all these groups with the muslim community, the hindu community, etc.. it was really a fascinating discussion. and then we matt with sportsmen groups that is distinct from but do not disagree with the gun owner groups. they have a different perspective that includes the blue water strategies, the
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outdoor industries. sportsmenwith a gun owners ande marines and troops, headed by a retired major general to fire arms and export roundtable. the independent firearms owners. there is a difference among them as well. we also met with retailers because of background checks and the like. they sell an awful lot of weapons. we met with colleagues in hollywood yesterday. the entertainment industry, as it relates to film and broadcasting.
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we will be meeting with technology experts. a lot could change, if every gun purchase could be fired by the person that purchased it. we would be unable to be fired. if that were available on every weapon sold, there is significant evidence that it may very well have curtailed what would have happened in connecticut. the young man had access to his mother's arsenal. i remember meeting with social education, and you in the video gaming industry. i come to this meeting with no
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judgment. you all know the judgments other people have made. we had a very productive meeting yesterday with the broadcast and film industries that have very constructive ideas as to how they can help. assessing the impact, if any, on behavior of certain behaviors. we are anxious to see if there is anything you can suggest to us that would hope to manage the possibility -- if we can only save one kid's life because of the consequence. we have a problem beyond the massacre is.
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columbine, conn., 10,000 people a year gunned down in our cities. a different motives, reasons, explanations. it is a real problem. one of the things that i know of no way to gather empirical data on and you all may, make an analogy to when we first started dealing with the issue of crack cocain in the early 80's, coming from the bahamas. although i was senior, i was not equal the daniel patrick
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moynihan that was a great mind. the front page of the newspaper. one of the mafia bosses was gunned down in a barber chair and riddled with machine gun fire. it made the front page of every newspaper in america. the referenced a story where an entire family were murdered execution-style. it made page 57 in the new york times. there is no measure that i am aware of to determine whether or not there is a coursing of
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our courts are -- culture. i do not know the answer to that question and i do not know what impact it would have. i wanted to tell you what we are about. at the end result is that i would be making a recommendation as a consequence of long, drawn-out hearings. there is an awful lot of research that has been lying around over the past 10 years with recommendations on having a federal weapons trafficking statute universal background checks for making more widely available mental health assistance. i would be submitting to the president on how to proceed.
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we get it done by then. i just wanted to fill you guys and on what it is. we had a very straightforward and productive meeting. >> onto the capitol today, members of the military acting as stand-ins for the rehearsal of the swearing in of president obama and vice-president biden. next week on the west side of the capital, all those activities happening here, the ceremonial swearing-in-in of the 44th president. ♪
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a look at the capitol dome, a practice run for what will be the 57 presidential inauguration. live coverage of the inauguration monday january 21. live coverage on the c-span networks starting at 7:00 a.m. eastern. the house will be back for legislative business tomorrow at 2:00. live coverage from the floor here on c-span, and the rules committee will also meet tomorrow to me for more work on aid for hurricane sandy. live coverage of the rules committee live at 2:00. tomorrow morning at 9:00
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eastern, a discussion about federal gun laws with public health scholars at john hopkins university. california representative mike thompson was appointed by house minority leader nancy pelosi to head of the gun legislative task force. he held three public forums in california this past week to hear from all sides of the gun debate. we will show you one of those conversations from santa rosa, california. we will take your phone calls after the discussion. >> i have the pleasure of introducing congressman mike thompson. he was first elected to congress in 1998. he serves on a subcommittee of help, select revenue measures in the subcommittee on ways and means, as well as being the ranking member on the subcommittee on terrorism, counterintelligence, and the subcommittee on oversight, all within the select committee on
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intelligence. congressman thompson is a combat veteran. he was a staff sergeant platoon leader in vietnam with the 173rd airborne of the united states army. he is also a couple heart recipient. mike has a reputation for problem-solving, reaching across the aisle. he had been a great asset for the county of sonoma. mike is also a gun owner and an avid hunter, i understand. i can think of no one better suited to serve as chair of the congressional gun violence prevention task force. congressman, thank you very much for your work, and welcome. >> thank you. [applause] thank you very much, and think you all for coming out tonight. this is the third town hall meeting on our efforts to prevent gun violence. input from the public is extremely important, so i am honored that you took time to come out tonight and share your
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constructive ideas with how we could accomplish this. i just cannot emphasize how important it is. as everyone knows, emotions got extremely high. motivation and constituent input to do something about gun violence hit an all-time peak after the terrible tragedy in connecticut. there is no question, that is the worst gun tragedy i have ever seen in my life, and i can understand why people, communities are upset, why they are concerned, and why they want something done about it. but i also want to caution folks that there is no one bill that can be passed, not one magic wand that can be waived that could guarantee that we never have problems like that, and we cannot move forward by judging our efforts on the last tragedy.
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as bad as that was, gun violence is with us every day. we see it most often when it is a huge tragedy, such as connecticut, but the truth is, since that connecticut tragedy, there has been over 800 people killed with firearms in our country. the american people have said a loud and clear, they wanted to done about it. i have been appointed to chair a task force to do something about it. as the chairman said, i am a gun owner, a combat veteran, i am a hunter. i understand guns. i understand the only way we can do is if we all come together, we are all at the table, and everything is on the table. that is the only way we will be able to forge a solution that works and makes sure our communities are safer than they are today. so i am looking forward to your constructive comments as to
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ideas you might have on how we can accomplish that. right up front, i want to state clearly and succinctly. this is not a listening session for a hearing on the second amendment. that issue is not what we're talking about. the second amendment is guaranteed in the constitution of the united states of america. when the court ruled -- when the u.s. supreme court ruled in the heller decision -- they took this away from the argument. no longer can focus on one side say, we can own any gun we want, and no longer can folks on the other side say this only pertains to a militia. the court was clear. u.s. citizens have a right to own firearms, period. government entities have a right to pass regulations and laws
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pertaining to those firearms, but americans have a right to own firearms. please remember that. if we do, that will help us get through all of the speakers, giving everyone time to talk. there is an old saying in congress. everything has been said but everybody has not yet said it. i do not think we have to do that. if you are not redundant, it will give everyone time to talk, and maybe we can have some good ideas out there on how to forge a solution. we are in pretty good shape tonight on our panel. we have some real experts. i will ask each one of them to make some brief opening comments. they are here to clear up any issues, and more important, like me, they are here to listen to any ideas that may come about. first, i will start with mike kennedy, sonoma county department of mental health.
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>> thank you. the comments i would like to focus on, we know for individuals with mental health the very issues and also a serious mental health issues, our goal -- and a lot of folks in california no with the mental health service act -- our goal is to intervene earlier, provide better access, and linke people to treatment. we believe that would help things in general. one of the things that i wanted to talk about, through the mental services help act in this county, have implemented one new program that is worth mentioning, and it is called a mark crisis assessment prevention and education team. it focuses on -- it is a partnership with the santa rosa junior college and about nine
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high schools, and all of the city high schools. we have a county team, licensed staff, and psychiatrist who are available and go to school to do assessments. we actually sit on the crisis team at the community college so that we can talk together. since we are a part of their health center, we are able to exchange information and then we're able to directly link students who have mental health issues directly to services. in the last year and a half we have been able to hospitalize about 10 young people, get them stabilized, and then they are able to stay in school. we were also at the high schools. the work in tandem with some of santa rosa's resource officers, with the assistant principals, and we are available to go out and do assessments.
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the second part of it, though, what we found was a lot of teachers, family members would say to us, we saw some issues, we just did not know what to do. the other thing that this team provides for all those settings is something we call qpr, which is question, persuade, refer. the evidence-based on that helps teachers assigned natomas, depression, suicide, and then what questions to ask, how to persuade someone to get help, and then how to access help. that would be to bring the team out there. it has been so successful at the school's. we areteachers training incoming
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freshmen, the whole class, in qpr. it allows us to target young people between the ages of 16 and mid-20's that are having either 1st psychotic breaks or mental illness. it is one of the programs and i think is extremely effective and could help in preventing some of these things. >> thank you. next, sheriff fred this -- freitas. >> thank you for inviting me to be on this panel, and thank you for taking the time to come out and share your thoughts. i am appreciative to see this large of a crowd to come and talk to us. i am primarily interested in listening to people's ideas, whether here or locally or at the state level. from an enforcement standpoint, one thing i would like to mention that maybe we could accomplished through this freshmen,process would be, manyn law enforcement -- and i spoke to many of my chiefs of police today -- we feel the malls are,
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quite frankly, confusing. it is hard to enforce on the street level aspect because laws are hard to interpret and understand. if it is hard for us, that must be hard for the public. we would like to see those lost simplify to some extent, and an enforced. other than that, i would listen to what people have to say. >> thank you. next, district attorney jill ravitch. >> is a pleasure to be here tonight. it is a pleasure because the subject is done on prevention. unfortunately, my experience is in the gut -- aftermath of gun violence. my job is dealing with what happens after the carnage, dealing with victims, try to figure out the proper way of dealing with the offenders. i would be like to lose that opportunity through prevention. i'm exciting to hear what mike kennedy is doing with mental health. one of the results of that tragedy in connecticut was it
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got us talking about mental illness and what we can do better as a community to deal with the slowness problems and integrate those individuals into our community and provide services. like the shares and others here, i am here to listen and look for better solutions, and ultimately, i am here to find better ways to prevent gun violence. >> thank you. next, dr. steve harrington, superintendent of sonoma county schools. >> i am here on behalf of the professional teaching community. before i make my opening comments, on behalf of the teachers in sonoma county, we wish to honor and express our respect for the students, teachers, administrators, and psychologists who lost their lives at sandy hook elementary school. we remember these young children who died too soon. we take a will to educate the students in sonoma county schools seriously. i know that all school employees
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are especially attuned to this issue of school safety and student will been following this horrible incident. the educators who sacrificed their lives at sandy hook did so because they were committed to creating a better world for teaching. let us keep their memories alive through their own and our own dedicated work in sonoma county schools. our scoot -- students are the hope and promise for the future. as the county superintendent, i wish to reassure you that every one of our schools within sonoma county have current and on files school safety plans. many of our schools have cooperative pleasing agreements. for school resource officers at the secondary level, 9-12. every cate school conducts safety drills once a month. every high-school conducts a quarterly drill each year. of those drills, the two must be at least lockdown, and two or earthquake.
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as resources are available to schools, we are required to retrofit and redesigned our campuses through the post- columbine design requirements that came out of that terrible incident. the teaching professionals and administrators and school classified employees who worked diligently with the school board and community with to provide safe campuses for every child. but we're also where we can increase the safety by reducing the risks, and that is why i'm here tonight, to listen to the way we can reduce the risks to our children and teachers. most of our campuses are not designed as well as the school at sandy hook. that was a self-contained school that did not have the open patio affect the california schools do. so we have a more difficult to tuition in securing our schools for lockdown. but one of the good things about our community, under proposition 63, which you passed a few years
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ago, we were able to initiate a pilot program for mental health. i think it is in our communities interest to know what we are doing and i hope more of these results will be shared with the total community. >> thank you. next is special agent blake gramm with the state department of justice, who probably should get a pen for being at three of the 0. >> good evening, everyone. i am here to talk about two programs at the california department justice is involved in first of all, background checks. the department of justice, bureau of firearms conducts a firearm background for the state. we query many different databases, restraining order systems, warrants, criminal history, mental health, we check for convictions in state come out of state, and various other
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federal assistance as well. last year -- two years ago, we did 601,000 background checks. in 2012, we did 812,000. so far this year, as of yesterday, 27,000 already. there has been a big spike lee in the number of background checks. the other side of that is the people that are denied consistently, about one-third of 1% applied. that is held up over many years. those people that purchase done sloppily sometimes become prohibited later. that leads to the second program i would talk about, and the arms derivative person system. at one point, those people purchased a gun. at some point, they could come prohibited by a mistake of their own, legally, maybe a mental
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health issue, things like that. currently, there are about 19,000 people, depending on the day. it fluctuates. these people have a prohibition of some kind and they have about 39,000 weapons associated to them statewide. we have to teams out just about every day of the week. there are only 33 agents in the state at the time to contact these people. we are small but we are doing we can. there are teams out tonight in different parts of the state. i think that is probably all i have. >> the 39,000 guns in possession of people who are prohibited from owning guns, those are only handguns and assault weapons? >> correct. those are the weapons we're able to track, handguns and registered assault weapons. so the reality is, there could
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be a lot more than that? >> correct. generally, we will seize a few that we know about, generally levels and shotguns also that are not in the system currently. >> as you can tell by the panel, this is a very complex issue, gun violence prevention, and it crosses many disciplines. it deals with mental health, education, it deals with background checks, in dealing with the guns and accessories themselves, as well as a culture of violence that is also very difficult to deal with. you think the second amendment stuff is tough, try the first. we have a lot of work cut out for us. if you have ideas, we want to hear them. >> folks who want to speak, fill out a speaker card and hand them to the staff at the front. everyone will have a minute and a half. if you look to your left, there
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is a traffic signal in green means you have plenty of time, yellow means you have 30 seconds, and red means your time is up. we will try to remind you when you are gone. >> and you will call five at the time? >> yes. five at a time. before the fifth speaker speaks, i will call the other five up so that we do not have any breaks. are we ready to go? >> we are ready. >> with the first five please come up? [reading names] >> i would like to be entered in that i cannot give you my name. for security reasons. i am an ex-military officer.
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>> let these speakers speak, please. >> how do i get in on that list? >> fill out a yellow card and then put in anonymous. then they can call you up. thank you. >> go ahead, shirley. >> thank you, congressman thompson, for being here. i am glad that you have been appointed to this important committee. as tragic as gun homicide is, particularly when it falls our precious children, i want to make sure that the relationship between guns, gun ownership, suicide, and veteran suicide is part of the dialogue. i want to share some sobering statistics. suicide is the leading cause of firearm deaths. in 2009, the u.s. firearm suicides total was over 18,000.
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a 11% increase from 2006 as compared to half that number of homicides. although most gun owners reportedly keep a fire arm in their home for protection or self-defense, 83% of gun-related deaths in gun owner homes are the result of a suicide, often by somebody other than the gun owner. homes with guns are five times more likely to experience the suicide of a household member than homes without guns. five times. death by fire arm is the fastest growing methods of suicide. unlike suicide attempts using other methods, 92% of suicide attempts with a gun are fatal, meeting a temporarily depressed person who uses a gun on never get a second chance at life. individuals are nine times more likely to die by suicide if a loaded gun is in their house. congressman thompson, i know that you are a veteran and i
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know veterans issues are near and dear to your heart, as they are to mine, and i brought up a photo of my dad who was a marine veteran. i just want to share a couple of facts and then ask you for what i would like to address here tonight. 20% of u.s. deaths from suicide are veterans, yet the trend make up only 10% of the population. veterans are more likely than the general population to use firearms in the means of suicide, and among male veterans, 84% have completed suicides involved firearms. i'm going to give my conclusions, i will finish within one minute. >> [inaudible] you can give me your close
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later. >> thank you for being here tonight. >> hello, mike. this is ian cheney. i know that you know me. ian was with jerry the day that he was murdered. i will not be able to tell you the whole story, but i will start. thank you for a long me to speak today. you knew jerry very well. my husband gary, excuse me -- was murdered on august 27, 2011. this is the issue that you face today and our country faces. it is the very issue that i have struggled with every day since jerry's murder. the mendocino county d.a.'s report showed not only was his murderer known by the family to
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be mentally ill and a drug user, but also at the semi automatic weapon he used to gun down jerry was given to him by a family member. it is suspected he was able to purchase the multiple round clips legally himself. jerry worked for a local timber company. he was accompanied by a neighbor to verify a report that there was a trespass grove on the property. that neighbor is ian cheney. jerry was armed but even carried a gun that day, not an automatic weapon, but a handgun, a gun he had to use. in firing that handgun he was able to surprise the killer and gained just enough time to escape with the killer chasing and shooting at him. if he did not have that handgun, ian would not be standing with me tonight, and he would left behind a beautiful little girl
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and a loving wife. i strongly support our right to own and use guns, however, the unchecked acts of on the criminals take away the rights of others to live a safe and protected life. what to do now? you will hear a thousand solutions. but i say, enforced laws we have. every law enforcement agency i have talked to -- [applause] sing the same song. budget cuts, lack of trained personnel, lack of a will to prosecute. gun owners have a responsibility to keep those guns out of the hands of the mentally ill, drug users, and convicted criminals. thank you very much. [applause]
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>> hello. my name is ted heinrick. that is a difficult speech to follow. i am not unfamiliar with guns. as a cadet, i was on an award winning rifle team in chicago, illinois, so it is not out of some sort of fear that i speak on this tonight, but i am appalled at the reckless distribution of firearms in this country and a tragic destruction of lives and families that this is causing. we have laws on the books to control sales, for example, but
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there are so shot through with polls and exceptions that there are meaningless for their purpose. for example, if it makes sense to do background checks on gun buyers in stores, why is it not equally sensible to do background checks for internet sales or sales at a gun show? we need to license cars and drivers because its equipment and use poses a danger to the public -- its misuse. we need to apply the same reasoning to gun-control. i hope, ultimately, -- am i out? >> thank you very much. >> a point of clarification while waiting for the next speaker, we do in california, but in other states we do not. this is a national issue, so all
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of these things need to be taken under consideration. next speaker please. >> good evening. my name is susan spier. i am a resident of sonoma county. i do not have anything profound to say. i just want to thank you for taking the time. is a nationalthis is a very co, and one that is deeply felt, i am sure, by everybody in the room. i am just hoping that in time we can find a way to curtail a lot of what is happening. thank you. >> james johnson. mike malone. john logan. michael. margaret fishman. >> i am james example, but
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there are so shot through with polls and johnson, a retired school psychologist here in sonoma county. i have been a credentialed school psychologists for over 40 years. it needs to be early intervention, very early intervention, kindergarten, first grade level. the needs to be clear and available help for all students at early ages. early intervention is the key. your mental health programs are key to getting students early. we have a situation where many students be early intervention, very early intervention, are identified eay on and there is no way for parents to assess -- access services, on the mandated by juvenile court, or they volunteer. i have several parents call me in my private practice and publicly that their kid, by the time they reach 12, 13, are out of control. early intervention is key to this issue. it must be engineered carefully and complete all over the state. thank you. [applause]
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>> i am a geologist. i spend a significant amount of time on the north coast, increasingly populated by drug cartels, pit bulls, and occasional krueger. personal defense is important to me. congressman thompson, your committee has waded into deep water here. your actions and policies could save lives or they could have some serious unintended consequences. it is obvious to me there are those who oppose the second amendment, and i answered not implying that to you, but there are those who do that and they use political subterfuge to believe undo these fundamental rights by means of agencies, bureaucracies, and obscure regulation that neuter this right without having to answer to the american people. california, for example -- and i realize this is a federal thing -- but california has created a twisted maze of firearm
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regulations, leaving the honest citizen who uses or carries a our legislature's response, now a proposal to double down on filler and fingerprint people to buy ammunition. a promise that you and your committee will recommend, that all proposed federal firearm regulations will be openly debated and voted on in congress. and not imposed on americans by executive order. [applause] i would expect that if the president runs the democratic process that is our congress, you and your committee members would protest loud and clear. [applause] >> the more clapping and stuff
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that goes on, the longer it is going to take to get through the speakers. we will only be here till 9:15. i would suggest that we do not show that effort. i want to point out, what do administration can do by executive order, -- what the administration can do by executive order, that was my first question, what can the president do. he can appoint an atf director, something that has not been in place and needs to be in place. he can prosecute prohibited purchases returned to buy guns. -- purchasers who tried to buy guns. require federal agencies to report records to the instant background check service. he can remove the remaining
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restrictions from the fy-14 budget that restricts money to be used to trace crime data, something that even the original author of that effort said was foolish, and he wished to go back and undo it. and that's it. [applause] >> my name is john logan. i am 100 percent disabled, retired vietnam veteran. i am grateful recipient of two ak rounds. i see no practical purpose to owning assault weapons except to destroy human life. at the same time, i am not in favor of gun control. if there are 200 million weapons in this country already -- >> 300. >> that is one per person. less than 50% of the people on those weapons.
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>> 20%. >> you will have a hard time getting them back. i know within 5 miles of here and pick up a thompson machine gun -- i can pick up a thompson machine gun without talking to anybody. one of the things it might be included in one of the bills to be comprehensive is to have a generous buyback program, especially in these economic times, the a lot of people might want to turn some of these weapons in. they may own three, you might get one. i do not care to ban assault weapons. if it takes more than five rounds to do away with an intruder, i should be dead or will be. all of this stuff, whether you decrease the number of rounds a magazine can hold, decrease the potency of ammunition, i believe if you do not have a comprehensive mental health
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program, you have done nothing. [applause] >> thank you very much. >> i will try to top quickly. -- talk quickly. there's 80 million gun owners in this country. most of them have families. most of them have children and those families. kids getting killed in a school is very high priority. the alternative -- senator feinstein's band does nothing. if you eliminate weapons, only criminals will have weapons. england is like that now. the upper rich people can go out and do what they call birding.
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where do want to go with this -- california right now -- as far as getting rid of gun violence, the first thing you of the deal with is the mind. john steinbeck, a noble laureate, has said years ago that the mind is the weapon. everything else is merely supplemental. that pretty much sums it up. anyone that wants to kill somebody is going to find a way to do it. timothy mcveigh tried to get into the special forces. they figured that he was mentally inept and cut him loose. and he went and blow up -- >> thank you. >> could we have peter alexander and fred rahm, please?
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>> my name is margaret tishma. i am a proponent of the brady bill. i am a gun owner. there are limits to most of my constitutional rights. i may not own a surface-to-air missile or a functional tech. i would never want to -- tank. i would never want to ban all guns. the time is now for reasonable federal legislation. it appears that the public and political will are now intersecting. a perfect start, if you will. the time is now for bands -- storm, if you will. the time is now for a ban on assault weapons. i refer to high-capacity removable clips. i trust that the intent of this form is more than show and tell,
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and that vice-president biden's nationwide effort to pare the people will result in actual federal legislation without flaws. the nra does not speak for all gun owners. the nra is mostly a lobbying organization and represent gun manufacturers and is mostly motivated by profit. the time is now. i am not naive to think of the limits on guns will create a crime free world. there are a host of additional areas to be addressed such as mental health and educational issues. i think we can minimize killing. the time is now. [applause] >> thank you very much. >> good evening. peter alexander.
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i wrote my notes down. almighty see, almighty be. with the almighty spirit be upon us all. highest praise on to the living board. we russell not -- lord. we wrestle not with flesh and blood. mental illness be with those seeking to maintain the insane, resulting in homeless vets and children, never-ending wars. the slaughterhouse murder of 14 million sentenced today and the day after an day after. -- and day after. also connecting to dennisike,
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kucinich's current effort assisting gulf war vets from 92 to 2002, murdered by genocide. my knowledge a firsthand. i have been privy to conversations with these people throughout the 1980's. one last sentence. detectives james rothstein has stated that certain people never get prosecuted because of their connections. i hope this is not the case. thank you. >> next. you've not been called, sir. you need to go back and take a seat.
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>> hi. i live in petaluma. thanks for holding this form. -- forum. i am glad to hear you mention the high-grade shotguns of the aristocracy uses in england. help it does not come to that. it seems to be that politicians are aiming for rifles and pistols to be taking out of the citizens' hands and only birding guns will be left. i hope some point in the future you have may be a forum on hospital violence, for example. for more people are killed by medical actions in america than buy guns. -- by guns. i am always fascinated that the first amendment is interpreted so liberally as to include a jar
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of urine with a crucifix and ii, yet the second amendment is interpreted so strictly that the rights of the people shall not be infringed. it's somehow does not apply in many cases. i am glad to hear you say that guns are protected by the second amendment. what seems to be happening is politicians going after ammunition. the want to increase the cost of ammunition to a point where it is unusable. thank you. [applause] >> by firearms instructor. -- i am a firearms instructor. we train 40,000 people per year.
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we have a standing offer the and the administrator or schoolteacher would like to be trained to come to our program for four days. we will turn out with more skill than 90% of police and 9% of military. mike, i've got a letter you did not get yet. it is from day founder and ceo of that company. the common factor we say in these instances is psychotropic drugs. virtually every one of these maniacs was either on drugs are coming off of drugs, leaving many homicidal, suicidal condition. -- many in a homicidal, suicidal condition. the or the first responders? i hear people talking about the victims -- who are the first
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responders? i hear people talking about the victims. there is a saying, 11 and died. -- dial 91 and died. -- 911 and die. if i am there dialing 911, i would rather have my bullet getting there. -- getting faster. [applause] >> where did you get the information on the drugs? >> it is something we have researched. >> in all three forms now, this has been brought up. i have a handout i have been given in the last two. we tried to run that out. we do not have information on
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that. i am not sure how some folks can randomly get that, and yet we cannot. if you can find out the source, please let us know. >> i would like to address the definition of an assault rifle. since they're talking about a ban on assault rifles. it is my understanding major assault rifle is a rival capable of fully automatic fire -- that an assault rifle is a rifle capable of fully automatic fire. it requires special permission. they're mostly owned by military, not available to the
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public. there are some rifles that had a silhouette the looks like the same military rifles, but they are in no way the same. i would like to see a reasonable definition, and not because it looks scary or it has a thumbholes stock. correct me if i am wrong and my assumption. -- and my assumption. -- in my assumption. the bill of 1986 banned assault weapons for public use. >> there is a legal definition in california of an assault weapon. the weapons you're talking about that require the tax stamp and special permit, those are fully automatic weapons. there are very few of those. in order to get them, you have
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to go through a number of troops to get it. the difference is, one semi- automatic. the other is fully automatic. >> the semiautomatics is not an assault rifle. >> the assault weapons that are banned in california, there is a definition of those. it is a rival that can take out detachable magazine and has one of the following characteristics. it is defined in law. it is i semi-automatic. the other weapons you're talking about are fully automatic and does fall under the firearms act. >> could we please have john ?avijoan davis
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>> : like to think mike thompson for having this hearing. i am the president of eagle forum. eagle forum has always stood for protection of property rights as well as protection of personhood. i would like to remind you how important it is to learn from history. my husband was born in germany during the second world war. his father was from switzerland. i would like to let you know the difference between the philosophy of guns from germany and switzerland. hitler had first made sure that all guns were registered before taking over germany. he said they had to be
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registered because the crime rate was so high. once the guns or registered, he knew where to go to take guns away from people -- were registered, he knew where to go to take guns away from people. switzerland, every family has to have a gun. it is given to them by the government. every adult is trained on how to use the gun. because other countries had been disarmed, hitler knew he could. switzerland has lowest crime rate in the world. they have not disarmed. an open we can learn from history. -- i am hoping we can learn from history. [applause] >> i am 65 years old.
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california native. brought up by my father to respect firearms from the time i was 8 years old. he is a world war ii veteran, european theater. i remember him saying to me, i want to be sure that you are safe from firearms. i think education is a critical issue in this. i find it hypocritical when fear and hysteria takeover people that i would categorize as the antigun lobby or faction, because of ignorance does not eliminate the problem or change the facts. nra has a program to educate young people about how to be safe from firearms. as my father said, one day will come in contact with a firearm. i want to make sure you do not
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hurt yourself or anybody else with it. we enjoyed shooting sports all our lives. still do. i also want to comment on the fact that i think that the issue of assault weapons raised by the gentleman a few speakers ago was very key. there is a lot of fear and hysteria just with the terminology, assault weapon. congressman thompson, you stated there is a legal definition for that in california. however, it is a loaded term and implies -- it implies that there is a human action involved in an inanimate object. i do not think that is possible. thank you for your time. [applause] >> thank you. >> i am john davis.
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i am from santa rosa. assault weapons, up one thing we should keep in mind is it accomplishes nothing. if i want to kill a bunch of people, it i can go down and get a semiautomatic rifle. it does not accomplish anything. it makes someone feel good, i guess, that they passed a bill. it accomplishes nothing. the second item want to bring out, this whole idea of making the schools gun free zones. all that says to the criminals, cummins shook me. there is no concealed carry people here. -- come and shoot me. there is no concealed carry people here. i believe that will appear was right. -- la pierre was right.
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the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is having a good guy with a gun. one thing congressman thompson is familiar with is the armed security service but we havthate had a lot of our schools in california. a lot of the school districts already have armed people on site. the l.a. school district has a police department. that has worked out very well. the one is writing his work done very well. -- akaka at redding has worked -- one at redding has worked very well. [applause] >> i am from petaluma. thank you for having this forum. i would like to enter into the national discussion more about the issue of psychotropic drugs
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being a commonality amongst these shooters. i would like your community -- committee to consider in evaluating how these are being handed to more individuals throughout this country without any regard for the negative side effects. another issue of like to address is, those that possess firearms, there is a newspaper in new york that has gained access to the addresses of legal possessors of firearms and posted those of a newspaper. i believe they have gained this access through the freedom of information act. i am deeply concerned with this, the law-abiding citizens can have their private information posted on a newspaper, sending this information out to would-be wrongdoers and informing them of hope and who is not in possession of firearms. who and who is not in -- who is and who is not in possession of
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firearms. [applause] >> i am a retired police officer. i have always followed shootings. my only thrust is, we need for more intervention and mental health -- far more intervention and mental health. it needs to be troubled, tripled. we need a lot more intervention early on -- doubled, tripled co. we need a lot more intervention early on. when you have a disturbed child -- my kids say, look at this kid. it is amazing. mental health of italy needs more money.
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-- definitely needs more money. [applause] >> i want to thank the panel for being here. my name is gary lucas. i have an idea the will show results faster and less expensive than anything else i've heard. remove the report of the mortality from shooters. never mentioned their name, -- reward of immortality from shooters. never mention the name. -- their name again. get the media to quit naming the names, the agenda, the high school. if people knew that they would be wiped from history, i do not think you would have to many killings. that is about all i have to say. [applause] >> this is a very intelligent man, gary lucas.
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-gary lucas. -- my name is gary lucas. this boils down to two words. personal responsibility. you have responsibility for your kids. you can tell that your kid is going bad or having problems. it is your responsibility to take care of those kids. it is personal responsibility for the media to correctly report things -- i agree with jerry lucas. -- gary lucas. there are to blame. they create these mindless video games that i would not allow my kids to play. they will go over to another kid's house and play them. they glorify violence. the glorify death. -- they glorify death.
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budgeting more for mental- health. thank you. [applause] >> good evening, panel. congressman thompson, i found a newspaper you were saying how your experience in vietnam, you know weapons well enough to say the assault weapons to not belong in the streets. i think we should remind ourselves that you were in vietnam on the gulf of tonkin resolution. and given the that was false. -- that that was false, that does not put you in a position to say where assault weapons are appropriate or not. i wonder if there will be a time when this many people, to address all the other children
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heard by violence -- come out to address all the other children hurt by violence, such as drugs. all the citizens in mexico a been hurt -- drones. all the citizens and mexico who have been hurt by fast and furious. [applause] on the issue of mental health services, we should not be looking for prescription drugs to be a solution. there is 28,000 drug overdoses last year. many of them were prescription drugs. you're saying that these mass shooters are not drug. one of the columbine shooters was definitely drugs. -- drugged. one of the columbine shooters was definitely drugged. thank you.
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[applause] >> i am a resident of petaluma and a gun owner. i was going to tell a long story, but i am going to shorten it. when i grow, there is a great story of a man i knew and his family. they were attacked in the middle of the night by a mob. he had a shotgun, kept the mob of for two hours. and they came in with tear-gas provided by the authorities in sonoma county, brought him out of his house and tarred and feathered him because he was an organizer, labor organizer, communist, and a jew. i do think that assault weapons -- i and tristan the difference in assault weapons. when i talk about fully automatic, we'real